Man wrongfully convicted in 1999 Mother's Day murder in Detroit files $100 million lawsuit

'It hurts my soul because I was innocent,' Johnson said

A man wrongly convicted in a 1999 murder in Detroit has filed a lawsuit asking for $100 million.

DETROIT – A man wrongly convicted in a 1999 murder in Detroit has filed a lawsuit asking for $100 million.

Justly Johnson and Kendrick Scott spent nearly 20 years behind bars for a crime they didn't commit. Johnson has filed the lawsuit against two retired Detroit police detectives.

The two men were convicted in a Mother's Day murder of Lisa Kindred. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office dismissed the charges on Nov. 28, 2018.

  • Scott and Johnson sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of Lisa Kindred on Mother's Day in 1999.
  • Prosecutor's office dismissed charges Nov. 28, 2018.
  • Lawsuit for $100 million filed Tuesday.

"It hurts my soul because I was innocent," Johnson said.

Kendrick Scott and Justly Johnson (WDIV)

Johnson proved his innocence, and now he's on a journey, working with a high-profile attorney, and on Tuesday, a lawsuit was filed against the two lead detectives in his case.

"Barbara Simon and the lead detective, Catherine Adams, witnessed these officers in the homicide section slapping these young kids around," Johnson's attorney, Wolf Mueller, said.

Johnson fought the conviction over the years.

"I never thought for one minute that I was going to spend the rest of my life in prison," Johnson said.

He said he would write a letters and ordered 50 stamps a week. One of the letters he sent was to Scott Lewis, a former TV investigative reporter.

"I spent hours of my own time reading through transcripts, reading through the homicide file, and when I finished, I said, 'How in the world did this happen?'" Lewis said.

While Johnson is a free man now, he said he lost a lot along the way.

"Right before I got out, my brother passed, and that was the most hurting thing ever," Johnson said.

For Johnson, the lawsuit represents the last piece of justice he hopes to be granted.

View the complaint document below:

View the polygraph test result document below:

About the Authors:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.